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Push pull

As you work on understanding it can be difficult especially with a teenage boy or any young person who prefers to keep it all inside and fights to do so. And if a young person is angry or anxious they may work very hard to keep you out. And all of this is easy to rationalize as "he or she is being a teenager"as you lecture them on why they should be this or that and act this way or that way. I encourage you to be peaceful, understanding, gentle and make every effort to show love and get closer. Slow down. Don't let them push you away and when they do pull them closer but gently. It can seem impossible to do this but keep trying. Some others may comment that you have to instill more discipline or be tougher or whatever. Don't listen to them. When a person is suffering it can appear as if they are behaving terribly in some instances and it is easy to ascribe that behavior to the person instead of a result of their suffering. Take the gamble and try and ease the suffering rather than worrying about the behavior. There is plenty of time after the suffering has been acknowledged and hopefully eased to help your young person find themselves and develop more beneficial habits and behaviors. I think you can discuss without judgment and outside the heat of any moment what you are seeing and ask if your young person is seeing it too. And that together with time and some energy you can explore ways to ease the pain and if they would be willing to walk with you hand in hand and try. And if they offer resistance to trying to address suffering because they feel they are a burden and the "costs" to the family are too great, let them know in whatever way works in your family that you would give them everything always and the benefit is to everybody. Ask them to imagine feeling better and all the things they could do if they felt differently. Keep at it. Be gentle. Depression and anxiety require time, energy, help and love to face and overcome. As famous coach John Wooden said, "be quick, but never in a hurry".

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